National Treasure

DVD Reviews | May 2nd, 2005

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Starring Nicolas Cage, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean, Harvey Keitel, Diane Kruger, Christopher Plummer, Jon Voight
Written By: Jim Kouf, Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley
Directed By: Jon Turteltaub
Studio: Walt Disney
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National Treasure is one of those movies I’ll watch over and over again because it’s just so much fun. I wasn’t expecting much from the movie but it’s really entertaining. Now it’s on DVD with some extras for fans to

National Treasure is about Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage), who has been obsessed about this secret treasure known as the Knights Templar Treasure. The treasure is said to be the greatest fortune known to man. Ben’s grandfather knew the tale and secrets about the treasure and told Ben as a kid about it. Ever since, Ben has been out looking for it. Years later, after we see Ben as a kid, we see him in some wintry climate searching for a big ship known as The Charlotte. He believes the treasure that he’s hunting is on the ship. What he doesn’t know is that’s it’s just another clue to the treasure. Along with Ben, is his computer hacking friend Riley (Justin Bartha) and his treasure hunting colleague Ian (Sean Bean) and his thugs. Ben and Riley find out Ian is willing to go as far as he has to get the treasure and double crosses Ben and Riley. Ben and Ian end up racing each other to discover the treasure first, but they have to figure out all the riddles and clues along the way.

When I saw National Treasure in theaters, I wasn’t expecting much and came out of the theater satisfied. The movie was fun and was exactly what I was expecting from it. Just an entertaining movie with an exciting plot with lots of action. I like many movies that star Nicolas Cage, yes even Gone in 60 Seconds. As you can tell, doesn’t take a lot to amuse me. But from the people that I’ve talked to about this movie, they all seemed to either like the movie or absolutely hate it. I wasn’t expecting the Da Vinci Code or some thought provoking movie, I was expecting pure entertainment with far fetch situations and that’s what I got. The one thing I thought was completely unnecessary was the romance between Ben and Abigail. I just seemed really forced and didn’t need to be in the movie. I thought the story was interesting though. I never really knew treasure hunting really existed but after watching the bonus features, it still exists today. Maybe not as extreme as stealing the Declaration of Independence, or finding clues on the Liberty Bell; but there are people out there that look for treasure and gold. I wish I could do that all my life. Seems like a lot of fun. I’d have to get decked out with a Fedora hat, leather jacket and a whip though. But I’m sure I’d probably be completely broke if I didn’t find anything.

As far the acting is concerned, it was okay. Sean Bean always plays a great bad guy, even though his character wasn’t completely bad. Well I guess he was bad, but not at the very beginning. Justin Bartha was great as Nicolas Cage’s sidekick, Riley. He provided the comic relief of the movie, and many of lines were funny. Some of the jokes fall flat but overall, the one-liners helped out the movie. I don’t think he’s been in a lot of movies besides Gigli, but that’s one movie that shouldn’t be on one’s resume. I’m sure you’ll see more of him in future films though. Nicolas Cage does what he does in every movie, and does it well. Act serious and add some humor & wit at the same time. Diane Kruger was there to be the romance to Cage’s character and too look hot. Well she succeeded in the hot department.

The extras contain some deleted scenes, alternative ending, some featurettes and other hidden easter eggs. The deleted scenes consisted of 2 clips. One was a scedne with more from the tale of the knights templar. The second clip was more of Ben, Ian and others down in that cave thing. You see more of the dangers of the place and Ian threatening Ben with killing his Dad some more. Some of that should have been included I guess. The alternative ending was actually not that bad, and left it open for more movies. Which they plan on doing anyway but the ending they used was more lively and funnier. As you watch the extras, you get codes to open up bonus features. Those features are Treasure Hunters revealed and showcases real treasure hunters and what they discovered. There’s a 12 minutes or so featurette on the making of the movie. It covers most areas that people find interesting and serves it’s purpose. There’s a few other things on here for you check out as well but I didn’t get to everything.

Overall, National Treasure is a fun, entertaining flick with a cool story. It’s like a modern day Indiana Jones but doesn’t come close to that film’s quality. The DVD is worth buying if you liked the movie though.

Alternate Ending with optional director’s audio commentary
Deleted scenes with optional director’s audio commentary
“National Treasure On Location” Making-Of Featurette
“the Knights Templar” Featurette
“Treasure Hunters Revealed” Featurette
“Riley’s Decode This!” Featurette plus 3 puzzling challenges
Opening scene animatic with optional Director’s audio commentary

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Stereo

Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)

Spanish, French

Favorite Scenes: The Charlotte scene, Stealing the Declaration of Independence, Philly scenes, The finale
Rating: PG
Running Time: 131 minutes
Extras Rating:
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